All Blacks applaud Ireland's 'special gesture' in memory of the late Sean Wainui

Ireland presented the New Zealanders with a jersey in the former Chiefs man’s honour.

Akira Ioane and Jamison Gibson-Park at full time.
Akira Ioane and Jamison Gibson-Park at full time.
Image: Ken Sutton/INPHO

AFTER A BRUTALLY physical battle, Ireland and New Zealand shared a few nice moments.

Ireland presented Beuaden Barrett with a gift to mark his recent 100th cap for the All Blacks and the Kiwis did the same to mark Johnny Sexton hitting the century against Japan last weekend.

The most meaningful gesture of all was Ireland presenting New Zealand with a signed jersey in tribute to the late Sean Wainui, who died last month at the age of 25. He was a talented rugby player with the Chiefs and Maori All Blacks.

Ireland captain Sexton explained the thinking behind the gesture after his side’s 29-20 win.

“We would have liked to have done it before the haka, just presented it to them like they have done previously when we’ve lost people close to us,” said Sexton 

“We contacted them through Faz and Greg Feek and John Plumtree who coached us and they said, ‘Look, it’s still a bit raw for a lot of the players so can we do it after the game?’

“We just felt it was… a few of the boys in Leinster and Bundee [Aki] as well knew him really well and were cut up about it as well, so we wanted to show a gesture of respect.”

rugby-jun-12-super-rugby-trans-tasman-rd-5-waratahs-v-chiefs Sean Wainui played for the Chiefs and Maori All Blacks. Source: Speed Media

The All Blacks applauded Ireland for their gesture.

“Johnny and the team made a very nice gesture to the passing of Sean Wainui with a jersey dedicated to him,” said New Zealand captain Sam Whitelock.

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“That jersey will be passed on to Sean’s family when we get back to New Zealand, so it’s a very special thing that their team has done and we don’t take it for granted.”

Ian Foster added his praise for Ireland.

“I thought it was a pretty special gesture from Ireland with the jersey,” said Foster. “It had real meaning and you can be proud of that sort of gift.”

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Murray Kinsella

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